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Michigan hockey goalie Erik Portillo to return for junior season

The Super Swede stalwart will once again be between the pipes for the Wolverines next fall.

NCAA HOCKEY: APR 07 Div I Men’s Frozen Four - Denver v Michigan Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Michigan Wolverines goalie Erik Portillo is back!

Portillo’s decision to return to Ann Arbor for his junior season was made official on Monday via the University of Michigan hockey Twitter account.

Last season, Portillo was second nationally in wins (31) and fourth nationally in win percentage (.768). Only Hobey Baker Award winner Dryden McKay — who is currently suspended six months for an anti-doping violation — featured a better winning percentage, while winning 25 or more games.

Portillo was second in the country in saves (1,081) — only five off the leader — and was one of four goalies in the country to stop 1,000 or more shots. The Swede’s save percentage of .926 was good enough for 10th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten.

But Portillo’s biggest contributions last season came in the postseason. Portillo was named Most Outstanding Player of the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Allentown Regional. Even in Michigan’s Frozen Four loss to eventual National Champion Denver, Portillo was a force at several key moments.

The Buffalo Sabres drafted Portillo in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft and still maintain his draft rights.

Nine Wolverines from the 2021-2022 season have signed professional contracts, but the returning Portillo and freshman sensation Luke Hughes will provide much needed stability with the talented incoming freshman class in the fall.